9 On Your Side Crime Watch

Man shoots at four home invaders, investigators can not rule out ties to Guerena case

CREATED Jul. 19, 2011

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Reporter: Steve Nuñez

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A man shot at four masked gunmen who forced their way into a house near Ajo Way and Kinney Road. This latest home invasion happened at a home on the far west side of Tucson late Monday night.

Pima County Sheriff's Deputy Dawn Barkman said the investigation is still in its early stages and that's why investigators could not positively rule out if there's a connection between this home invasion and any other one that's currently being investigated.   

Residents living in the 4500 block of South Paseo Don Ronaldo did not want their faces to be seen nor their voices heard on camera out of fear of retaliation.

Barkman said the four masked gunmen targeted the home because they knew a 19-year old male inside of the home.

Investigators would not reveal what type of property they demanded from the teenager. But the masked gunmen then threatened to kill the other nine people, including two small children, who were also inside of the foster care home. None of them were injured.

As the suspects ran out of the home, the 19-year old resident grabbed a gun and ran outside. He then got into a firefight with the masked men.   

A short time later, St. Mary's Hospital notified law enforcement that two men with gunshot wounds had arrived at their facility.

Investigators believe the other two men who got away may have also suffered gunshot wounds. There was a trail of blood leading from the scene that indicates more suspects may have been shot.

"This is not a random act of violence," said Barkman. "Investigators tell me they are looking into the possibility of this being drug or gang related."

Barkman would not confirm if the home invaders took drugs from the house.

9 On Your Side Reporter Steve Nuñez asked: "In your experience are home invasion rings usually connected?"

"I know that they have a circuit if you want to call it that of individuals who target a specific homes," answered Barkman.

In June, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik told KGUN9 News Anchor Jennifer Waddell that ex-Marine Jose Guerena was also being investigated for ties to a drug and home invasion ring a month after officers shot and killed him during a SWAT raid.
 
Dupnik stated at the time, "I can tell you this, he is a major player in that organization."

Although the items are not illegal, detectives reported to the media that they found an AR-15 assault rifle, a .38-caliber handgun and body armor inside Guerena's home. 

So we asked Barkman if investigators believe there's a connection between last night's home invaders and Guerena's investigation.

Barkman said, "I couldn't say that because I don't know they haven't told me anything that's the first time I've heard that so I really don't know."

Pima County Sheriff's is urging anyone with information to call 911 or 88-Crime.

Barkman told 9 On Your Side it's possible the 19-year old resident who shot the gunmen could also face charges. That's because he shot the suspects outside of his home.